Bringing over 40 years of playing and coaching experience to Saint Joseph’s tennis is first-year head coach Ian Crookenden. A two-time national collegiate champion, Crookenden was appointed director of men's and women's tennis on Hawk Hill this past August.
Serving as head men's tennis coach and indoor tennis club director at Wake Forest University for 12 seasons, Crookenden began his coaching career in 1984. Playing in the competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, Crookenden posted a 160-180 record and helped nine players earn All-ACC honors from 1984 to 1996. In just his third season, Crookenden coached Christian Dallwitz and Marco Lucioni to No. 4 and No. 6 ACC Singles Flight titles – just the fifth and sixth Demon Deacon players to have done so at that point.
In 1988, Crookenden earned another first in Wake Forest program history as he coached the doubles pair of Dallwitz and Mark Greenan to All-American honors. After guiding the pair to the ACC No. 1 Doubles Flight title, Crookenden lent his experience to the duo as they surprised the field and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships.
Adding to his stellar coaching streak, Crookenden’s ability to recruit on an international level shined in 1990 as Frenchman Gilles Ameline became the first Demon Deacon to compete in the NCAA Singles Championships and earn All-American honors.
One of the top players in the illustrious history of UCLA tennis, Crookenden was a standout from 1965-67, helping the Bruins to the NCAA title in 1965 and second place in 1966 and 1967.
As a rookie, Crookenden made a major impact with his new team, helping UCLA to an 11-0 overall record and the national championship. Teaming with the legendary Arthur Ashe, the pair claimed the fifth NCAA doubles title in program history.
The following season, Crookenden became just the second player in UCLA history to claim two NCAA doubles titles. Teaming with Charlie Pasarell, the duo earned the sixth national doubles title for the Bruins. Serving as captain in 1967, Crookenden earned his third straight All-American accolade, leading UCLA to a 12-2 mark and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships.
Following his collegiate career, the New Zealand native excelled as a professional player, competing at the sport’s highest levels: Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open. Crookenden was also selected to New Zealand’s Davis Cup team five times.
Stepping away from the collegiate game follOwing the 1996 season, Crookenden took over as director of tennis at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in 1997 and remained there until this past August. While there, he ran both the boys’ and girls’ International Junior Grass Court Championships.
An active member of the United States Tennis Association and the United States Professional Tennis Association, Crookenden was recognized for his collegiate accomplishments in 1997 as he was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. A contributing author of two guides published by the USPTA, he currently resides in Blue Bell, Pa. with his wife Dianne.